Sociolinguistics, terminology, health, well-being, Lebanon


Architecture | Business | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


There is no doubt that language change is strongly related to social change, and this is always associated with an essential change in the socio-cultural meaning adopted by the relevant speech-community. It is also a fact that a speechcommunity’s perception of a concept or a phenomenon depends largely on their linguistic encoding thereof, i.e. the lexicalization and/or grammaticalization of the concept. When a social institution, therefore, seeks to influence the community’s conception and behavior, it becomes essential to introduce relevant changes in the language used by the community. If such process does not follow adequate language planning policies and mechanisms, the outcome may lead to a clash in discourses. Considering the issue at hand – health and well-being – it thus becomes first of all adamant to map the expressions and terms used by the community. Second, to examine the social and cultural meanings/values associated with these expressions. Third, to compare between these expressions and those terms established in the academic domains (health and psychology). Lastly, to introduce the adequate language planning policies and mechanisms needed to effect the required change in the speech-community’s awareness. This paper, therefore, seeks to answer the following questions: 1) What are the different lexicons and discourses relevant to health and well-being used by a) the speechcommunity and b) the academic disciplines? 2) What factors affect the introduction of language change to produce the desired socio-cultural meanings? 3) What language policies and mechanisms need to be adopted to effect the required change towards an enhanced awareness of health and well-being? In answer these questions, the paper will be a theoretical outline of the raised issues, in preparation for later applied studies.



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